[Marxism] NPR: Is Grass-Fed Beef Really Better For The Planet? Here's The Science

DW dwaltersmia at gmail.com
Tue Aug 13 15:18:48 MDT 2019


For the environmentally minded carnivore, meat poses a culinary conundrum.
Producing it requires a great deal of land and water resources, and
ruminants such as cows and sheep are responsible for half of all greenhouse
gas emissions associated with agriculture, according to the World Resources
Institute.

That's why many researchers are now calling for the world to cut back on
its meat consumption
<https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/08/08/748416223/to-slow-global-warming-u-n-warns-agriculture-must-change>.
But some advocates say there is a way to eat meat that's better for the
planet and better for the animals: grass-fed beef.

But is grass-fed beef really greener than feedlot-finished beef? Let's
parse the science.

*What's the difference between grass-fed and feedlot beef? *

Feedlot calves begin their lives on pasture with the cow that produced
them. They're weaned after six to nine months, then grazed a bit more on
pasture. They're then "finished" for about 120 days on high-energy corn and
other grains in a feedlot, gaining weight fast and creating that
fat-marbled beef that consumers like. At about 14 to 18 months of age, they
are sent to slaughter. (One downside of the feedlot system, as we've
reported
<https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/04/02/707406946/some-in-the-beef-industry-are-bucking-the-widespread-use-of-antibiotics-heres-ho>,
is that a diet of corn can lead to liver abscesses in cattle, which is why
animals who eat it receive antibiotics as part of their feed.)

FULL:
https://www.npr.org/sections/thesalt/2019/08/13/746576239/is-grass-fed-beef-really-better-for-the-planet-heres-the-science



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